Languid aristocrats with a taste for martinis and a gift for repartee. Bright young things who keep their composure even when confronted with proof of their latest indiscretion. Wit as effervescent as a sip of Dom Perignon, and a sensibility that effortlessly reconciles cynicism and romance. These qualities made Noel Coward one of the most popular play-wrights of the 1930s and '40s -- and ensured that his plays became classics. Here, three of his most irresistible comedies of manners are available in a single volume.
In Blithe Spirit, Charles Condomine receives a visit from his first wife, Elvira. Unfortunately, Charles is now married to Ruth, and Elvira is a ghost. The bohemian protagonists of Hay Fever wreak emotional havoc on a houseful of weekend visitors. In Private Lives, a recently divorced couple find themselves in adjoining hotel rooms while on honeymoon with their new -- and wholly unsuitable -- spouses. Giddy, elegant, and unflappably serene in their appreciation of human vice and folly, these plays are Coward at his finest.